Poster Boy for Salafist Pacifism according to the New York Times

The New York Times were happy to write about Imam Shashaa in glowing terms. They made him out to be a poster boy of Salafist Pacifism but now that he has been arrested on terror charges they have gone strangely silent. They were happy to praise his so-called moderation despite him belonging to the Islamic sect most commonly associated with terrorism and fundamentalism (Salafism) but now that the unpalatable truth has been revealed they have nothing to say.

…Spanish authorities have arrested a Muslim cleric — whom the New York Times once praised for his efforts to fight radicalization within Germany’s Islamic community — for alleged ties to the Islamic State.

Hesham Shashaa (aka Abu Adam), a 46-year-old Egyptian-Palestinian, was detained near Alicante in southeastern Spain on April 26 on charges of aiding the Islamic State, extolling terrorism and promoting Salafi-jihadism.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said that Shashaa had facilitated the travel to Spain of Islamic State jihadists from Syria and Iraq by providing them with money, refuge and fake documents.

Most recently, Shashaa had made arrangements for two jihadists — who are the subjects of international arrest warrants for their membership of the Islamic State — to travel from Turkey to Spain by providing them with false passports…

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, Shashaa has also been charged with disseminating Islamic State propaganda:

“The detainee took advantage of his privileged position within the Islamic Community of the province of Alicante to spread content extolling attacks committed by the terrorist organization Islamic State and cruelly disparaging their victims. In addition, he used social networks as a tool to generate hate by publishing videos in which terrorist leaders indoctrinate their followers to engage in violent jihad.”

…Shashaa settled in Spain in 2012, shortly after the New York Times published a glowing profile of his moderation while he was an imam at the Darul Quran mosque in Munich, Germany. The story, entitled “Munich Imam Strives to Dilute the Elixir of Radical Islam,” stated:

A growing number of imams in Europe and the Middle East have denounced suicide missions and terrorist acts. Many of these imams, however, still view Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or Hamas as legitimate resistance movements, while Mr. Shashaa openly declares that they are violating the tenets of Islam.

“He travels to mosques and madrasas throughout Europe, as well as the Middle East and Pakistan, telling young Muslims that fighting against American troops and other forces is a violation of their religion. He condemns militant recruiters in his sermons, urges worshipers at Friday Prayer to call the police if they hear about plans for an attack and readily talks with law enforcement officials about the reasons for radicalization and the best way to combat it.”

In an interview with the Times, Shashaa portrayed himself as a pacifist:

“They [the militants] use the religion for their personal aims and declare war on Jews and Christians, but I want people to follow what Islam really says. We cannot just sit down and let other people hijack our religion.”

..Several months after the New York Times published its hagiography of Shashaa, he was arrested for physically assaulting his third wife, who was hospitalized with a broken nose and shoulder. “The attack was obviously very brutal,” a hospital spokesperson said at the time.

The woman, a Syrian, told police that she had wanted to live a more Western lifestyle; she wanted to find a job and stop wearing the hijab. Shashaa refused. After the woman called police, Shashaa refused to let them in. “What a man does with his wife does not concern the authorities,” he said…

…Spanish authorities believe Shashaa moved to Spain to evade German law enforcement, which had become increasingly suspicious of his activities…

“In 2012, German intelligence called him a Salafist: He opposed a pluralistic society, repeatedly stated that a woman should not leave the house without her husband’s permission, and during the Gaza War in 2009 preached a sermon that disparaged Jews. He wants a theocracy, which would be inconsistent with the separation of powers, the rule of law and the parliamentary system. He posted several videos with extremist content. According to the 2012 intelligence findings, his claims to have distanced himself from extremism were deemed ‘questionable.'”

Remember Whaleoil’s expose of a New Zealand Salafist Imam in Auckland who we showed on video saying exactly the same kinds of things? His Mosque stopped posting videos and removed all the videos they had loaded when we exposed him but recently they have started posting videos again. The New Zealand public would be wise to keep an eye on the videos posted and should not be shy on reporting them if any more unacceptable content is shown. Salafism is the most dangerous Islamic sect and the public should be vigilant.


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